The Most Original, Innovative Games Are On The PSN
Before people flip out, I'm actually referring to the entire world of downloadable and digital games. I'm not just singling out the PlayStation Network; I just couldn't fit everything in the headline. And last I checked, this is a PlayStation-centric website.
Anyway, if anyone complains about a lack of creativity, originality and innovation in video games these days, they obviously haven't checked out the digital offerings online. Developers are able to take more risks; they don't have to worry as much about losing gobs of money, and so many designers have tried so many new things. It's really refreshing and we should reward such efforts.
If you just take a quick sampling of what the PSN has to offer in terms of freshness, you come away with a lot of impressive productions. Thatgamecompany has already given us flOw and Flower, and they'll soon deliver Journey. All titles are unique and extremely compelling and better yet, they're really not remotely similar to one another at all. So many digital games are redefining the nature of the term, "new IP." And it doesn't end there, as many other games, like Echochrome, Limbo, and Shatter are just wonderfully entertaining.
And some could argue that a game like Shatter is "just another brick-breaker," but the mechanics of that title are indeed innovative and besides, where do you see brick-breakers these days? Same goes for Joe Danger. You can call it a modern-day Excitebike if you want, but that's not entirely accurate in the first place and in the second place, do you see a lot of games like Excitebike on store shelves? And what about the PixelJunk series? Is that even define-able? Do those fit in any particular mold?
Look at two of the latest: Sideway: New York and Eufloria. Now, we're not talking about the greatest games in the world, but they're not like anything you've played before. Plus, let's not forget about resurrecting old-school formats like top-down action (Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light) or great gameplay mechanic combinations, where puzzle, action, and platforming all come into play (Hamilton's Great Adventure is a good example). Gotta love side-scrollers, too.
I'm not saying there's no innovation or originality in the big Blu-Ray market. But don't grief about a lack of artistic growth or experimentation if you aren't actively perusing places like the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace. Multiple downloadable gems.
10/13/2011 9:00:48 PM Ben Dutka